19 Chester Place


  • Completed in 1901 on Lot 11 of Chester Place by wholesale grocer, real estate investor, and banker Harry Gray; Gray was an older brother of William Walden Gray, who would later build 1 Berkeley Square in a newer part of West Adams
  • On October 20, 1900, the Los Angeles Herald reported that a building permit had just been issued to Harry Gray for a ""frame dwelling, northwest corner Chester place and Adams street; $13,000." No mention is made of an architect in that news item; however, on March 23, 1901, the Herald reported that Gray had been issued a permit for a two-story barn on his property on which the architect specified is Oliver P. Dennis. Dennis was just at the time forming his partnership with Lyman Farwell; the text that accompanied a drawing of the house that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on February 2, 1902, seen below, stated that "The plans of the structure were prepared by Architects Dennis and Farwell, and it was erected under their supervision"
  • Harry Gray made several complaints to the board of water commissioners about his water supply while living at #19; the discussion grew somewhat heated in a meeting on July 7, 1902, with the board president telling Gray that "Any man who for the sake of a few dollars comes here and says we don't know what we're doing, and who says the city will lose citizens by our actions—well, if he wants to leave town the city won't lose much"
  • On September 16, 1903, the Herald reported that an intruder had ransacked an upstairs bedroom the night before, apparently while the Grays were having dinner below. A similar bold intrusion had happened next door at #17, the home of Lee W. Foster, the previous March
  • The Herald reported Gray's sale of 19 Chester Place on March 27, 1904, to P. Max Kuehnrich, president of he Los Angeles Brewing Company
  • On July 7, 1907, the Herald reported that real estate investor Philip L. Wilson had acquired 19 Chester Place as part the conveyance of his Belasco Theater to P. Max Kuehnrich
  • Herbert G. Wylie, one of Edward Doheny's chief operatives, had bought 17 Chester Place next door in 1909; Wylie reportedly acquired #19 to have it removed to provide a larger lawn for himself. It is Philip Wilson's name, however, that appears as the owner on the demolition permit for #19 issued by the Department of Buildings on March 27, 1916. In its issue of May 13, 1916, the trade journal Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer reported that Wylie had hired architect William J. Dodd to add a tea house and garden pergola to his expanded property 

As seen in the Los Angeles Times on February 2, 1902

Illustrations: LAPL; LAT